Sassy, Spicy, and Single

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Following is an excerpt from my first book. This particular chapter focuses on the importance of  pursuing and living your best single girl life with sass and spice (insert wink here).

Chapter 4: You’re accepting the breakup as a lesson learned, an opportunity for personal growth, a blessing in disguise, You’re living life in the Single Lane. But that’s no excuse to be bland. It’s only an excuse to regain or even better…upgrade your sassy and your spicy.

Sassy: Lively, bold, and full of spirit.

Spicy: Exciting! Flavorful!

Fun Is Necessary!

Being single and miserable, or miserably single, should not be your adopted style of choice…not ever! Singlehood is a time to make your life as flavorful as possible, Have fun–and loads of it. Fun can and must be had in a variety of ways. Hanging out with your family, having slumber parties with your besties, salsa dancing, and paint parties are just a few examples of how to keep fun and flavorful times in your life. Who said you had to be a certified event planner to act as one? Keep your calendar filled with awesome activities and exciting events.

Consider hosting movie nights, game nights, and taco and guacamole nights. You and your besties can rotate planning and hosting events. Events can be potluck styled so your pockets are not worn thin in the name of having a good time. Send out cutesy Evites for your sassy, spciy, and single slumber parties, spa dates, or mani-pedi dates. Bring an amazing attitude and a bright smile to each and every event. Keep your camera phone close by so you can capture your sassy and spicy moments. Your goal is to have loads of fun and loads of laughs and loads of spice and loads of sass!

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You Gotta Have Some Goals!

In addition to being a girl who just wants to have fun, chase new experiences and opportunities so you can gain new perspectives on yourself and the world around you. Travel. Visit places–near and far–you’ve always wanted to venture to. Take thousands of pictures while you’re visiting so you can relive your wonderful experiences over and over again. What else have you always wanted to do but failed to find the time, energy, or courage to? Start a polish line? Attend a painting class? Pole dancing? Zumba? Skydiving? Snorkeling? Write a book? Start a business? Enroll in cosmetology school? You’re operating in “Me Zone” now. Me Zone affords you the luxury and pleasure of being and doing you. This is the perfect time to embark on a deliberate pursuit of what (all) you want. Just go for it…whatever “it” may be.

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the book Boy Bye!  Click to preview (and or purchase ) more of this selection.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Doubt. Do…

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Road tripped home for Thanksgiving this year, and thanks to Audible, the 14-hour drive (round-trip) was hardly “a snooze”. Jen Sincero (along with our Forever First Lady) kept me company. And they were both delights might I add. I decided to revisit Jen’s Badass series first, and I quickly realized I should be revisiting her work daily. (Not annually. Not quarterly. Not monthly. Not weekly. But DAILY!). She’s got me feeling all “badassery” now (again). Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. (Feeling like a total badass.) From time to time,  Doubt enjoys crashing my Badass parties. She’s probably crashed a few of yours as well. I’ll be rocking out, having a blast, feeling myself, all ready to face new challenges and adventures. Then here comes this  *****! Who invited her anyways? She needs to be escorted out. Immediately!

But we don’t always and swiftly escort Doubt out and away. We allow her to stay a while instead. Nag us. Make us second-guess ourselves. Doubt is a total vibe killer; a ball buster. She changes the record and totally kills the vibe at the party. One minute we’re in our zone, we’re grooving, ready to tackle some risks, feeling as us and as confident as can be. Then, all of a sudden, our badass record–affirming ourselves, being confident, up for any challenge, fearlessness, dream chasing—screeches. And stops. Doubt puts her bullshit ass records —You can’t do that! You better play it safe. Who do you think you are? —on. Then we start to talk ourselves out of what we really want, what divinely belongs to us. Opportunities are left un-pursued, ideas untouched, goals underachieved. And not because we’re not capable, or talented, or badass enough. But simply because we let doubt get in and stay in our heads. We become less daring and more doubtful of ourselves. Instead of shutting her down (Bye Bitch!), we allow Doubt to convince us we’re not good or worthy enough, that the best thing to do is to play it safe and small. She encourages us to “play to not lose instead of playing to win.”

I am vowing for the rest of 2018, all 2019, and the rest of my life to be as mindful as possible about how I interact with Doubt. I want to shut her down quicker, faster from here on out. I don’t want doubt talking me out of ( I don’t want to allow Doubt to talk me out of) anything that belongs to me.

I’m uncertain what new venture Doubt has you stepping back from and respectfully declining. It could be something as simple as writing a blog post. Or starting your business or writing that script or ditching a gig you hate for one you know you’ll love or leaving his ass or shooting your shot with her or taking your health and fitness back one meal and cardio session at a time or  booking the trip or relocating to another country or  saying “I’m sorry”…first. Whatever you’re afraid, scared to do (and most of us are afraid and scared to do something) if I can kindly suggest to you–Don’t doubt. Do. “Just do it.” Just start doing it. Just start. With one step. Toward your goal. This may mean starting things afraid. It may mean having to learn as you go. It may mean building your confidence as you do. But who cares! Do it anyway.

Dear Doubt…Thank you for trying to keep me safe, but I’m good luv. Enjoy.

 

 

WCW: The Lioness of Africa

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It took me a whopping thirty seconds to realize…Wow! I like this girl. She’s got spunk! I was initially intrigued by her physical presentation. The “rock star” hair, badass outfits, vibrant accessories, super fit bod, and that silky-smooth, Hershey chocolate skin of hers. And then she started to speak. I went from being intrigued (pleasantly) to being totally captivated and under Wiyaala’s spell. Amongst other things, she shares with us the reviews she received as a young girl. That she was ugly, boyish looking, too muscular. Her response was everything. “I don’t care.” Similarly, later in life when Wiyaala was encouraged to try Beyoncé or Rhianna’s look, she kept that same (I don’t care. I’m doing me) energy. She shades no one, but confidently affirms that although she’s in an industry that glorifies a particular “look”, she will not be conforming–she’d rather rock out in her own way, in her own lane. It’s as if self-confidence and self-awareness are just oozing all over and out of this girl. I LOVE that! The confidence to say, “This is who I am and I am not changing.” Being comfortable enough in your skin to own who you are, to not need anyone’s stamp of approval. To me, this is the epitome of living your best life.

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In addition to being uber comfortable in her skin, Wiyaala is a determined and talented artist, dedicated to giving back to her community. I’m a total fan of “The Lioness of Africa”! She’s got beauty, grit, confidence, and a kind and giving heart. In a nutshell, she’s Dope AF. And my #WCE.

Lavender Lemonade

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Hey Girls Hey!!! Lavender Lemonade will be available SO soon! I’m so excited I wanted to share a sneak preview with you today. Meet Deja, Nia, and Tish–three friends who are hungry for love.  The friends find themselves desperately desiring and willing to do anything for love, as many (Shiiiiid! ALL ) of us can relate to. But as we all know, that shit gets real tricky, can be quite disappointing, and is oftentimes an open invitation for settling. Tish, Deja, and Nia learn the hard way that something as precious as real love and true commitment cant be forced, rushed, or mocked. However, the most meaningful lesson these three friends learn is that loving yourself first is the golden key that unlocks the door to living your biggest, fullest, and happiest life.

Deja…

But Tage wasn’t just any man to Deja. She genuinely wanted him to be her man. She saw herself marrying and carrying babies for him. And although their “connection-ship” provided her plenty of room for desire, Deja was too wrapped up in the moment, too wrapped up in the possibilities, too wrapped up in being someone special to someone (to anyone), too wrapped up in maybe one day, too wrapped up into him to demand (gently request) more. Deep down she knew she wanted more (exclusivity, commitment, a title), figured she probably deserved more out of a “relationship” but fear of losing the little she did have with Tage paralyzed her from rocking the boat. So for the last two years (and counting), she settled (slummed) for their bi-monthly Netflix and Chill themed play dates.

Nia…

During their last talk, Raheem fed Nia enough lines to keep her in tow for another year and a half, sans proposal and ring. And considering all the time already invested, her cake candles count, the dismal dating scene her single girlfriends were always crying over, Nia elected to hang in there a little longer, hoping that one day, one month, one year this man would finally stop hazing her and officially initiate her into The First Wives Club. During that year and a half, Nia remained hopeful. She also put her desires on the backburner, bit her tongue, refused to make mention of anything related to marriage. She consoled herself by focusing on how lucky she was to even have a man at all with all these single girls out here trying to get what she already had. Things may not be perfect. He may not be forthcoming with his intentions to marry me (or not), but at least I have a man, she would tell herself (while trying to convince herself).

However, Nia started to notice a recent shift in her attitude toward Raheem and their relationship. The closer she got to 35, the less lucky, the less satisfied she found herself feeling about her role as The Possible Forever Girlfriend. It was becoming more and more difficult to convince herself that she wasn’t being strung along, that she should just be happy with what she had (even though she wanted more).   Nia was growing tired of the same-old-same-old. She was ready for a change.

Tish…

Their arrangement was quite exhilarating for Tish in the beginning. She was single. Had no one to answer to. Wasn’t in need of being taken care of financially. Could do whatever she pleased. And at the time, unattached, casual, fun sex with a guy who knew his way around the bedroom was exactly what she pleased. But of late, she honestly didn’t know how much longer she’d be able to play the Young, Wild, Free, and Having Way Too Much Fun card. It was increasingly becoming less and less thrilling. Tish found herself trying to calculate, exactly, what was so exciting about a man only enjoying and appreciating her for her physical offerings quite often lately.

Tish wasn’t particularly interested in a relationship with Dray, to be honest. He didn’t seem to possess the qualities she deemed admirable in a man, like trustworthiness, loyalty, self-discipline, honesty, reliability, and selflessness.Nonetheless, she was secretly becoming more and more irritated by the fact Dray could lay up with her week after week, month after month, and not see her, really see her. That he could not take notice of and appreciate all the many things she had to offer besides sex. Their sexual trysts were becoming emotionally and spiritually draining.   Their “arrangement” was starting to no longer align with her spirit and thinking–I am so much more than this. I deserve more than this.

Stay tuned to find out what happens next with Deja, Nia, and Tish…

As always, thank you so kindly for  stopping by and taking a sneak peek into my first novelette. More information on its release date, availability, and sneak peeks coming soon (like next week soon)!

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Fun Fact! My friends and I are the cover models for Lavender Lemonade. After the artist flaked my friends came to the rescue.

 

 

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                                                        After the City Center “photo shoot” we got our passports stamped…

 

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Then we enjoyed sweet, cold, and tasty treats.    

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Self Care

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My definition of self care is pretty simple. Self care is simply loving on yourself, showing care and concern for your mind, body, and soul.  Self care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. In our homes and on our jobs we’re constantly considering and taking care of everything and everyone.  While caught up in all the hustle and bustle it’s so easy to neglect our needs and desires. Amongst many things, self care is a defense against being taking over (or under) by the many  stressors of simply living life. Self care allows us to slow down, take a breath, redirect our thinking, re-channel our attention away from fear and worry, and focus on the positive.  For these reasons alone, self care is essential for all of us.

Self-Care Favorites:

  1. Exercise : It just feels good! Well…let me clarify. Dance fitness feels really good. Twerking and whining while clearing my head and releasing the day’s stressors,  in a Zumba or Just Dance class is so refreshing! I leave feeling light and encouraged. The health and fitness benefits are just a bonuses. Then there’s the not so fun exercise–toning, strength training, wogging (walk-jog). In the moment, it rarely feels like self care. More like self torture. In the moment, I’m focused on pacing myself and breathing properly, lifting a weight effectively, stretching; not a to do or to pay or to call list. I’m on break and for that I’m grateful. Plus, afterwards, I find myself feeling stronger and more confident. As a result, I keep these not so fun activities in rotation. They’re worth the torture.
  2. Reading: Leisure reading. Diving into well written stories, connecting with characters, eagerly waiting to learn how their stories will unfold is pure joy.  Reading a good book is like going on a mini vacation without the hassle of packing. And it truly feels like a get away.  It also feels like I’m turning the hustle and bustle button off and freezing time when I’m curled up with a good book.

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    Yes, some are library books. I love visiting libraries and signing out books.

  3. Plants: This summer plants have definitely been placed in my Self Care rotation. Why? Simply put, they make me smile. This may also be a sign that I’m getting old–er. I love how beautiful and resilient plants are. I wake up each morning, check their leaves and the soil, water them if need be, place some outside a couple days a week, move the curtains aside so the others can get the sunlight they need. Then I take a step back, admire my efforts, and… feeling like the king of this house I think, “It is good”. I also think, Girl…you’re about to turn into The Plant Lady!      
  4. Inspirational Messages: Listening to words that inspire me is definitely a part of self care for me. Whether it’s an audio book like The Four Agreements or Devon Franklin or T.D. Jakes or Oprah Winfrey. Their words, messages, and advice inspire and uplift my soul. Such a welcoming shift from the negativity we’re constantly bombarded with on a daily basis.
  5. Music: In the mornings, or when I’m cleaning the house, or while taking a walk, or driving to work, or on lunch breaks, or whenever, I’m usually tuned in and dancing along to one of my favorite Pandora stations. Music just makes me feel happy and free and light.
  6. Alone Time: Being alone is so essential for my overall well being and happiness. I need time, on a daily basis, to just be–whether it’s to  be quite and still, dancing around the house being goofy (“Keke, do you love me?” ),  being contemplative, or whatever. Alone time is golden.
  7. Tea: The day can’t  start without a cup of tea. Turmeric, chamomile, sweet rose,  yerba matte, green…you name it. I love hot tea with agave.  I’m certain I’m probably overdoing it on the agave. I’m also certain I don’t care. Lol. Sipping tea is so relaxing, kind of like a mediation of its own.
  8. Looking My Best: This may be shallow and superficial to some, but I don’t care. Lol. Looking my best–soft/healthy skin, healthy/fit weight, healthy and fluffy twists, eyebrows drawn on to precision, clean/well put together fits–brings so much joy to my heart. When I look my best I feel like what I am…a well taken care of and loved soul.
  9. Laughing and Spending Time With My Peeps : I need laughter like I need air. I  crack my own jokes (corny jokes but jokes nonetheless) and make myself laugh.I watch silly shows and funny movies, listen to comedians, spend time with people who make me laugh.  It is not lost on me that every time I’m in the presence of those who love and care about me (family/friends/tribe) laughter is inevitable. For that I am extremely grateful.

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    I love laughing!

  10. Spending Time With God: Praying. Showing gratitude. Asking for help/guidance/strength. Venting. Crying. Confiding in. This summer I decided to be way more intentional about praying, spending time with God, and writing in a gratitude journal. I’ve noticed feeling even lighter and freer. I have a little area I like to call our Kick It room. There have been some mornings where I don’t say anything. I just sit in the Kick It room and I can feel the comfort of His presence. It’s wild…in a good way.

Well enough about me!  I’d love to learn about some of your self care favorites! How often do you engage in self care? How do you benefit from self care?

I’m Nobody’s Good Enough Girl

 

92ECD959-9E61-48FD-B64D-0EFCC3FDF83FHe had you at hello. He was charming, easy-going, and not bad on the eyes. He was barrels of fun. He made you laugh, and laugh hard. He had a good job, good credit, and a good head on his shoulders. You wanted to believe your frog-kissing days were over. You were looking forward to going the distance with him. You loved him so much-and you felt he loved you too. But as the years slipped away, you started to wonder if your love for him was a tad stronger than his love for you. This  wondering was forced to a head when you took an honest and thorough assessment of the sacrifices you were willing but he was unwilling to make and the fears you were willing to face in the Battle of Love, only to discover that you were fighting all alone.

Mr. Man knew that you wanted to be married. You remained consistent and unwavering in expressing your desires and expectations. He spoke and presented himself as if you were both on the same page, as if you both had mutual desires. But there was a dilemma on the horizon. His actions failed to coordinate with his impressive, get-your-hopes-up-all-high talk. Inevitably you were burdened with the task of accepting that you were being taken for and treated as a Good-Enough Girl.

Good-Enough Girl: good enough to kick it with, good enough to sleep with, good enough to date indefinitely, good enough to shack with, but not quite good enough to marry.

He wanted married-man benefits but was only willing to pay single-man dues. Mr. Man wanted a lot from you: encouragement when he was discouraged, sex on a frequent basis, daily home-cooked meals, laundered and ironed clothes, peace and quiet when he didn’t feel like talking, clean living quarters when he hadn’t washed a single dish, space when he was feeling crowded, understanding when he was feeling confused, self esteem boosters when his self esteem was on low, his behind kissed when he should’ve been kissing yours, to be coddled when he was sick, the attention that he at times neglected to give, the adoration and respect that he at times neglected to show. Wow! That’s a whole lot to receive while only paying poor-single-man fees.

Marriage and commitment are just too heavy, too serious, for some men. And some men can afford the luxury of “keeping it light”, particularly when they can get all the previously mentioned high-end relationship merchandise at Filene’s Basement bargain prices…

If you enjoyed and want to read more, or you can relate , or you know of someone who can relate and may need a bit of encouragement, head over to Amazon for an additional sneak peek or to purchase Boy Bye! As always, thank you for stopping by! I appreciate your time and consideration more than you know ☺️.

 

“I Choose My Motherfucking Self”

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E-V-E-R-Y- thing seems to revolve around being “chosen” ( I’ve grown to hate this term btw). Getting your ass chose is put on the highest of pedestals, viewed as the end all be all, it’s the winning lottery ticket, the golden egg, the only real purpose for our existence. Duh! (I’m being sarcastic). It’s as if society is saying, and on a very frequent basis, “Darling, I know you got interests and ideas and I see you got your little hobbies; I see you in all those organizations giving back to your community; And I really like how you’re all creative and talented and smart and shit; and look at you hitting all your life goals and targets and what not; you just doing all types of dope shit. (Long pause) But…(another long pause)…have you managed to get your ass chose yet??? I mean, all that other stuff is cool and all but it don’t really mean shit if you ain’t out in these streets getting chose.” How ludicrous! (This word still makes me chuckle) I’m saddened when I engage, directly and indirectly, with women who are clinging on to The “Get Chose” Narrative. This narrative is such a Basic B#*tch. Overbearing and a bully, preying on and harassing women all over the world. Recruiting friends, family, media, anything and anyone to do its dirty work—nag the hell out of “unchosen” and unfortunately chosen women alike, causing them to question their worth and doubt their dopeness. This narrative convinces single women to settle (slum) just so they can be on the other side of the conversation and it encourages unhappily involved women to endure and stick in out just to avoid taking the long road back to Single City.

Women are pressured to leap over hurdles and jump through hoops just to be noticed. And then there’s pressure to master a series of mazes to be deemed “The Chosen One”. Be appealing. Stand out. Don’t ask that too soon. Don’t share how you really feel. Just shut your mouth for now.  Be a good girl in public and a freak in private. Be smart but don’t be a know it all. Be stylish and sassy…but not too sexy. Be ambitious but not intimidating, adventurous but not too wild, full of thought but not too talkative.  Be a “Pick Me” kind of girl. Just do whatever you gotta do–even if it’s not you–to be selected. Do whatEVER you have to do to get to Chosenville. Understand?  Hitch a ride with whomever’s going that way. Just get there!  Never mind compatibility, if values and principles align, or said person’s capacity to bring joy, happiness, and added peace to your  life. (Girl you asking for too much! And you’re too damn selective! Who told you were entitled to peace and happiness?  Ummm…my creator did. It’s like my birthright. Just take what’s readily and easily available and  be happy your ass “finally got chose”.)  I’m sorry. Say what now?

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No! I will the fuck not. Just be happy to be “chose”.  (And you better not either.) I will the fuck not take whosoever will have me. I will not contribute to the antiquated  narrative that a women’s worth is solely measured by who deems her want-able, who invites her to sit at the “cool table”.  I will not participate in the bullying of single women. I will not encourage women to simply take any man just so she can say she has a man. I will not encourage (ever) any woman to be so preoccupied with being chosen that she neglects to do her own choosing.  I choose not to idolize being chosen to the point I neglect common sense. I choose not to be a slave to other people’s opinion of me. I choose to protect my peace even if that means extending my stay in Single City a bit longer (I got time).   And lastly, I refuse to play this game called Life from the bench, desperately waiting for someone to pick and put me in the game.   I have (And so do you!) way too much energy, zest, and sparkle to live life like that.  I choose to enjoy life today.  I choose to get in the game today…and everyday (regardless of status).  I choose a NEW narrative. IDGAFWDFWM. I fux with me. Which basically means, I choose not to wait for someone else to choose me. I’m choosing “my motherfucking self.” So move.  I’m up next…

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Note: I’m quoting Gabrielle Union from her latest book We’re Going to Need More Wine in blogpost title. Her book is a must read by the way! I’m loving it!

My Father Taught Me…

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Me and Pops. We go WAY back…

Without shame, I admit I felt some kind of way this morning about Father’s Day. There was a  little sadness mixed with confusion (Why?). You can throw in a pinch of resentment and pissivity too. I spent most of this morning dwelling on and pouting over all the stolen future moments life and it’s sometimes cruel nature stole from us–me and my pops. All the silly and untold jokes, unshared words of wisdom and advice (because communication is no longer easy, no longer existent really). Most days I’m able to convince myself to be grateful for what we once had, the relationship we once had (which is totally different today). We had our own language (laughter and jokes) and a very  special bond. Basically, we just had a vibe. But this morning I didn’t care about being grateful for what once was. I didn’t give a fuck about the past and its memories.   I didn’t ask for any of this, wasn’t prepared for it. I wanted more future with my pops (the original version of him)–I wanted more laughs (frequent laughs), I wanted to hear more of him talking shit to whomever he felt like talking shit to, I wanted more pep talks, I wanted more spoiling, I wanted more him–the old school him. Alzheimers… you stole from me and my family (and I legit hate you for that). You also taught me it is more than possible to miss someone, to ache for someone who’s not even dead.

Then the afternoon rolled around, and although I was supposed to be taking a break from social media as I worked on some other things today, the break didn’t last too long. As I scrolled I saw someone posted a meme that read something like “What Did Your Father Teach You.” I’m not happy it appears I’m addicted to social media but I am happy that seeing this post forced a shift in my focus. I started to think about ALL the many things my father taught me. Like how to write a check ( I remember this like it was yesterday, sitting up at the front table practicing on a sunny spring day). He taught me how to stash money (He gave me a stash of money and told me I should spend a little but  save most and continue adding to the stash. Unfortunately, to his disappointment, I initially spent all of the first stash before adding to it. ). He taught me how to be frugal (My pops was the thrift store king! He didn’t believe in spending a dime unnecessarily). He taught me how to drive (Oh my God, I hated those driving lessons! He fussed the whole fuckin time. “Slow down!” “Brake!”  “You don’t know what you’re doing yet. Why are you going so fast?” You gotta listen!” When it was my cousin’s turn to learn she’d fake being sick because the lessons and yelling were so nerve-racking . Lol). He taught me that what I had to say mattered (He actually wanted to hear my sometimes funny but mainly boring ass stories about life at school or work. He wanted to know how my friends were and if the new guy was still treating me well. He’d hang on to every word, asking for more details, and wanting me to repeat every story when a new person walked in the room. (“Vi..listen to this. Tell your mother what you just told me.” “You tell her dad.” “No.No.No You gotta tell it. Go head.”)  He taught me the value of handwork (I swear this man never missed a day of work y’all. I’m not that dedicated…yet). He taught me how to be a person people could depend and count on. He taught me how to be a giver (He was cheap as hell but when we ever needed or wanted something he always came through with the check). He taught me that life will knock you down but you have to get back up and keep pressing. He taught me the value of being independent, of standing on my own two feet, of always having my own, and not placing myself in positions where I’m at the mercy of others. He taught me that life is simply sweeter with laughter (Our love language).  He taught me that loyalty and consistency are gold. And I’ll probably never be as In Your Face and Tell It Like it Is as him, but he taught me not to take any shit from people. He taught me a man spoils the woman he loves and honors. And he doesn’t cry or complain about it.  Through his actions, he taught me I meant the world…to him (which I internalized as I mean the world. Period. Lol. He’d always tell me how I looked “like a million bucks” or say “See you later Rhond-D”, his nickname for me, as I was headed out the door to meet up with friends. And  then he’d add a wink… and a smile. Those were the days. I’ll cherish them forever.)

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I Diddy cropped my mom out. Don’t judge me! Lol. It’s Father’s Day.

After reminiscing, I can honestly say I feel less heavy, less in a funk, less entitled (to my preference, to my vision of how life should be).  Memories…I didn’t want to fool with you this morning.  I wanted to be sad and pissed. I wanted to cry and say “Fuck you!”  (even if just for a few hours). But  I feel better now  (writing this was surprisingly therapeutic). Memories came through for me in the clutch today.  To wrap up, I’m no fool. I know how blessed I am to have a father who loves me so much, who poured so much into me. So I can be mad, I can curse, I can scream and yell. But when that’s all said and done I have to return back to gratitude, to being thankful for the precious gift of even experiencing Dad–then and now.   And I understand, with sadness,  we can’t go back to the good ole days (not on this side anyways) but I will cherish and hold on to,  for dear life, the so many memories I’ve been blessed to make with my father, my friend, my first love, my everything.

Note: Once in a while, my old pops resurfaces and we all laugh so hard (like  when I say “What up Boss” and he laughs like he did back in the day  or this week when he told my Aunt to “Get gone!”  Get on his nerves and he’ll tell you what you can do with yourself. Lol. #ClassicRonHall)

Pretty Girl Keri

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Tracie Ellis Ross, with her confident and badass self, secured the last #WCW spot but this  week, Pretty Girl Keri is in First Place. While reading her most recent IG post my main sentiment was “You go girl!”. Following is a breakdown of my favorite lines from said post.

“I’m single by choice.”  It’s often assumed that all single women are sad and lonely and agonizing over being chosen (or not). It’s hard for folk to understand that being single can be a choice and that not all women view a single season as a punishment or curse.

“I believe in reflecting, growing, & healing in between relationships.”    Racing from relationship to relationship as if we’re trying to get to some imaginary finish can’t be healthy.  I once believed the reward after heartbreak and recovery was meeting someone finer, richer, and more awesome than the former beau. And the possibility of meeting someone who meets that criteria is certainly one of the perks of giving love another chance. However, I no longer believe that’s the sole reward or treat. I strongly feel the true reward is in your growing–growing smarter, stronger, more confident, growing spiritually, growing creatively, etc. Some may contest this but I believe this type of  growth and growing happens best when a woman is in her single season. She has time to reflect, get in tune with who she is again, determine who she wants to be moving forward. She’s more intentional  about connecting with her source.  During the in between (single season)  she refuses to crumble and a stubborn refusal to crumble does wonders for a women’s self confidence. That’s why you see women, who take the time needed to heal and grow, all glow’d the fuck up when they’re in between relationships. Glow ups are simply outward expressions of healing and growth. But when we jump too quickly into new relationships, fail to take advantage of being all about us AF, we short change ourselves.

“I don’t Tarzan swing from vine to vine out of fear, loneliness, ego, or validation..” 

I hate that we live in a world where a woman is made to feel worthy or unworthy based on who loves her. Society tries to force feed us all these silly snacks (You’re worth is based on who chooses you.). We then spend way too much time searching for validation in the form of love and relationships (often times the wrong relationships).   I love interacting with fearless women, directly and indirectly, who simply don’t subscribe, who don’t rely on men/relationships to validate who they are as women.

“…cuz I truly enjoy my life by myself, too. I’m not waiting or looking.”

There’s SO much life to be lived and enjoyed. It saddens me when women refuse to partake in life’s festivities, to taste its sweetness, because they feel the party can’t start until their single status changes. My hope for all of us is that we  create lives for ourselves that are full of enjoyment,  that we truly enjoy our lives so much so that we’re “not waiting or looking”. We’re just out here living (“We living B.”).

 

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Keri Hilson’s IG Post/Caption

 

 

 

Black.Girl.Magic

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“Black Girl Magic”. It’s evident our magic exists well beyond graphic tees and social media hash tags. When we see fellow black girls making moves, stepping into entrepreneurship, uplifting communities, creating, speaking out against injustice, demonstrating resourcefulness, living fearlessly, and more we swiftly and proudly exclaim, “That’s that black girl magic right there!” I have a pretty clear understanding of our magic as a collective. Simply put, WE LIT. We have a certain swag, a particular élan about us. And that’s not to say others don’t have swag, style, grace. But…ours…is just different. I have to credit a significant portion of the magic oozing through our veins to the women who came before us. Those we’ve had the pleasure and honor of knowing as well as those who laid the foundation for us many moons before our births. The Black Girl Magic torch has been passed down from generation to generation since the beginning. I’m forever indebted to all those who came before me. Additionally, I’m eternally grateful to be a member of such a premiere squad of collective magical-ness.

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As mentioned earlier, I know what makes OUR squad magical but I had a little extra time this weekend to consider my own, unique magic, to consider what and how I’m contributing to the team? What’s my magic exactly?

My MAGIC: MY magic exists in my grateful spirit, and in my zest for life. It rests in my understanding and appreciating that my being alone is a gift. I see it in my ability to love…even still. My magic is in my giving and in my willingness to help others. It exists in my inclination to see the glass as half full, in my preference to make sweet tasting lemonade instead of sucking on sour lemons. My magic exists in my quiet strength and will. If I get knocked down 99 times, I’ll stand up 100. My magic finds residence in the principles I hold dear to my heart. Be trustworthy. Be loyal. Do the right thing. Be kind. Be good to people. My magic’s in my confidence, in my belief that no matter what…I’m gonna be good. It’s in my belief that God is bigger than the box many try to hold Him captive in. My magic’s in my smile, a smile that brightens moods. It’s in my laughter and in my kindness. It’s in my creativity. I see my magic every time I put pieces from the Goodwill together and still manage to look like something. My magic exists in my curiosity and willingness to learn new things. It’s in my genuine appreciation for Black culture (cultures), my desire to connect with my folk. Lastly, my magic is how I can navigate between soft, sweet and girly but you’ll regret crossing me and back to soft, sweet and girly effortlessly. And there you have it. My magic summed up in a paragraph. (Insert smile and a sense of pride here)

I really enjoyed this exercise in self-awareness. I’m confident you will too. I’d like to encourage you all to take a moment, or two, and reflect on the question: What’s my magic? If you’re up for sharing, I’d love that! I always love hearing from you. If you opt to keep your findings to yourself that is totally understandable as well.

Signing off here Ladies. Until next time…

Peace. Love. And Magic. Black Girl Magic.